Digital Commonwealth

VI. Sir Galahad contemplates his quest

VI. Sir Galahad contemplates his quest

Item Information

Title:
VI. Sir Galahad contemplates his quest
Description:
On the morning following his visit to the Castle of the Grail, Sir Galahad contemplates his quest, as voices mock him for failing to ask the effectual Question, which would have freed the Castle's inmates from their spell. Against their will, a trio of damsels under the spell try to use their powers to destroy Galahad. Years of the narrative pass between this panel and the next, bringing many challenges and ordeals to test Sir Galahad. -- Adapted from: An outline of this version of the legend by Henry James.
Artist:
Abbey, Edwin Austin 1852-1911
Photographer:
Lanzel, Sheryl
Sponsor:
Boston Public Library
Date:
[ca. 1893–1902]
Format:
Paintings
Genre:
Murals
Location:
Boston Public Library
Abbey Room
Collection (local):
Mural Cycles at the Central Library in Copley Square
Series:
Abbey Room Murals: The Quest and Achievement of the Holy Grail by Edwin Austin Abbey
Subjects:
Galahad (Legendary character)
Arthurian romances
Extent:
1 painting : mural, oil on canvas ; visible image 48 x 96 in,
Permalink:
Terms of Use:
Copyright (c) Sheryl Lanzel
All rights reserved.
Notes (date):
Contract signed in 1893; murals painted in Abbey's studio in England (space shared with John Singer Sargent). The BPL Historic Structure Report marks the installation as complete in January, 1902, with an initial installation of 5 panels (Panels I-V, as supported by photographs of the installation) that occurred in 1895.
Notes:
Title from information in: James, Henry. "An outline of this version of the legend."
Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911) was a young, highly regarded illustrator for Harper's Monthly magazine, but had never completed any work in oil paint when he was approached for the mural commission. The Philadelphia-born artist lived most of his life in England, where he befriended artist John Singer Sargent. In 1890, Abbey and Sargent dined with Charles Follen McKim, Stanford White, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens in New York, where architect McKim convinced him to consider painting a mural cycle in the Boston Public Library's Book Delivery Room. Upon visiting the library during its construction with McKim, Abbey agreed to undertake the project and signed a contract to complete the work for $15,000 in 1893. He selected a subject of "legendary romance" in The Quest for the Holy Grail, basing his work upon Alfred, Lord Tennyson's version of the Arthurian tale.
Notes (object):
Canvases completed in Abbey's studio at Morgan Hall in England and later shipped over to Boston for installation in 1901. Canvas applied to the walls of the Book Delivery Room using an adhesive technique called marouflage. Some panels contain gilded elements of raised relief and metal studs to reinforce seams.
Accession #:
06-VI